In China, huge strides are already being made when it comes to integrating education students with artificial intelligence.
In July 2017, China’s highest governmental body, the State Council, introduced the Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan (NGAIDP). It was aimed at connecting AI with most parts of life in China, including healthcare, transportation, government and education. With a plan to becoming a world leader in AI by 2030, the NGAIDP roadmap, released by the Communist Party’s powerful State Council emphasised on increased education in AI at primary and middle schools.
If we talk about education, the Chinese have been working on creating intelligent education. The Chinese government’s ambitious plan would require huge amounts of research in AI, supported by professionals trained in the technology. The Chinese government has set 2030 as the deadline to integrate AI with the Chinese infrastructure. In this regard, huge strides are already being made when it comes to educating the populace using AI. This way China is working to not only making its young population familiarise with the technology, but it is also revolutionising how education is being imparted. According to an estimate, China led the way in over $1 billion invested globally last year in AI education.
Startups Are Spearheading AI In Chinese Education Industry
The integration of AI with the education sector in China is also growing fast, particularly after the government incentivised the use of AI through tax breaks. Chinese tech startups have ramped up AI projects under the government’s support and secured funding from investors. Many of those projects have been launched in the country’s schools for creating intelligent education systems.
Squirrel AI is one such startup which raised over $180 million in funding and surpassed $1 billion in valuation. The company has opened 2,000 learning centres in 200 Chinese cities and signed up over a million students. The company created its learning system to capture all the data created in learning sessions.
Apart from startups like Squirrel AI which focus on personalisation in learning, there are other startups like Alo7 and Hanwang that deploy face and voice analysis to its video tutoring sessions, which then produce summary reports of each lesson.
For a large country like China which may have a shortage of quality teachers, such AI tools can help in the learning process. Deploying AI as a replacement and a supplement to teachers is one of the solutions how China is training millions of students. The advantage for China is the size of its student population to train AI systems. This helps in getting large data sets for training software to help learning make easier for students.
What’s The Situation In India?
India has a large young population like China and so it desperately needs a developed education sector to propel the country towards a great future. Unfortunately, our education system is infamous for inefficiencies, which impedes student learning.
As digital means of collecting data goes up in India’s education sector, it will become imperative for India to leverage that to deliver improved education and teaching methodologies. Here, India can learn a lot in terms of how learning can be made more intuitive and useful for students by integrating AI tools. AI-based platforms can also substitute quality teachers as there is also a grave shortage.
Research shows that over 300 Indian startups use AI in their core product offering and out of that 11 % are in the education sector. While this is a great sign that there is progress being made to make education efficient using AI, no single application in this regard has come on top in India, as opposed to China where we can see multiple of such companies. Currently, the need of the hour is AI in the classroom.
AI in India’s education sector can be deployed to recognise gaps in the learning of the student and give real-time solutions. The technology can also identify areas where teachers are outnumbered by students and create optimised learning programs that impact the largest number of students.
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Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine and writes about AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain. Vishal also hosts AIM's video podcast called Simulated Reality- featuring tech leaders, AI experts, and innovative startups of India.